friendlysuggestions: 12 Tips for Fast, Effective Moving

I moved several months ago!  It was a chore.  I moved from a larger space into a smaller one.  I had moved several times recently, moving from larger places to smaller ones and shedding stuff that I had collected over the years.  It felt good to lighten my load.  I had a garage and a basement and an attic filled with crap, I mean treasure.  I tossed so much of it out.  Every now and then I long for something that I got rid of, but not often.

Two of my recent moves were done, very, on the “spur of the moment.”  The first was the end of a relationship and my attorney told me to “move now!”  The next was from an apartment in a barn, it was beautiful there, but it was on the market and was sold quickly.  So, I have experience moving and some ideas and suggestions on what can make a move fast, effective and easy!

Here are my tips:

1. Make your own personal list of things you need to do. Your list:  Type your personal list on your computer, use regular sized type so you can write on your list as you get things done.  Don’t print it right away, give yourself time to develop the list with names, numbers and things to remember, you know, details.

2. List things such as, cable, phone, electric, gas/oil, and other utility companies.  You will need to notify these folks about turning service off at one place and starting it in the new dwelling.  I listed credit cards, doctors, and places I receive stuff from to notify about my new address.  When the list is ready print it and keep it in a safe place so you can add to it, cross things out and stay on track with the move!

3. Many of the things I could change on line myself. I forwarded my mail to the new address at  I changed credit card information on their sites.  My driver’s license and my car registration information I changed at the division of motor vehicles site.  As I did these I crossed them off my list which I had printed once it was ready.

4. If you are using a moving company, get several quotes and check references.  I have had really good luck when I have used movers.  They saved me time and the move was so short, they moved all the contents of my house in 4 hours.  I couldn’t believe it!  Oh yeah, and neither, my friends nor I hurt our backs in the process.

5. If you are going to rent a truck and do you move yourself with family and friends.  Line up a truck in advance. I have always used U-Haul and had really good luck with them.  The rates for truck rentals are good, and as long as you are not moving to far, the mileage is reasonable.  The mileage, per mile rate actually varies from U-Haul dealer to U-Haul dealer so check around.  Check out the truck when you go to pick it up, look it over and check the gas level.  And I always get their insurance so that, in the event that something happens, you are covered under their plan, no arguments or insurance hassles.

6. Get or purchase the right boxes, bubble wrap, tape and containers to move your things properly. If you have delicate stuff, if you have art, if you have computer equipment.  You owe it to yourself to take the time to move it in a safe protected fashion.  Stuff always breaks when you rush and do dopey things like moving and hoping for the best.  Take the time and do it right!

7. Have all your stuff packed in boxes ahead of time. Write/label the boxes with what’s in them, and where they go in the house, like books/den, etc.  If your friends are like mine, they will ignore that, put the boxes where there is room, but, you will be able to see what is in the boxes as you sort the stuff out, later.  I even move some things ahead of time, delicate stuff and things I want to be careful of.  Once your stuff is in a box, no matter how much you write on a box to protect it, it becomes a box of stuff!  Boxes are boxes whether they have books or china in them.  So move the delicate stuff yourself! This way you have control and only yourself to blame if things bad happen.  You don’t want to put a friend into a situation where they dropped your mother’s china, which she gave you, in the drive way, do you?!

8. Have enough people for the move! I once moved with a buddy, his son, and myself!  Not enough!  So this last move I had my buddy, his son, a plumber buddy and weightlifting neighbor and an awesome lady friend, help.  That was enough and nobody wore themselves out in the process.

9. Have different people at the original place and at the final destination.  If you have fresh people there when the loaded truck shows up that gives the folks that loaded the truck a needed break.  And, everyone can work reasonably without killing themselves in the move.

10. Have cold water and sodas on hand for the move.  And, some fruit or snacks.  But, no alcohol, wine or beer, until the move is done! Stuff will start to go wrong if people are drinking.  There will be less moving and more drinking!

11. Depending upon how many people are around, as the move winds down you should feed these folks. And if they drink now they can have some beers or whatever.  But if they are drinking they should have food as well and not drink to excess.  Food can be pizza, sandwiches or some take out – people love this kind of food and it is easier than making something.  Besides, you just moved, good luck finding your spatula and glasses!  Last move there were only a few of us left, so I took my remaining friends to dinner, to a Perkins – not the fanciest restaurant in the world, but good food and it was great to sit, relax and eat, before I went home to sort things out.

12. Return the truck and finish paying for the truck.  I like doing this, not only because the move is done.  But, I like doing this when there is someone from U-Haul there to receive and inspect the truck.  I fill it with gas and let them look it over.  This way, if someone hits the truck in the parking lot later that night, they know it was OK when it was dropped off.

So there you go! Some suggestions about moving! I’m sure there are more, if you have some add them below as a reply.  Moving is a stressful event under the best of circumstances, I suggest you plan it out on a list that you can refer to and add and cross stuff off on.  It goes really smoothly, it has for me.  I hope you try some or all of my moving suggestions they have worked for me and I hope they work for you!  Have a safe, fun effective and efficient move!  Be well and enjoy!


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